Everyone loves house parties. The speakers are thumping, the drinks are flowing, and all your friends are feeling fine. Forget concerts — these are the places where music truly comes alive. That explains why so many iconic videos have featured people living it up in living rooms, getting freaky in bedrooms, and doing god-knows-what in swimming pools. What follows are the 10 best clips with house party themes.
Jimmy Eat World, “The Middle” (2001)
The motto is “no pants, no shirt, no problem” at the house party Jimmy Eat World play in this steamy 2001 video. As the foursome does its poppy emo-rock thing, everyone bounces along their skivvies like it’s the most natural thing in the world. Well, not everyone — the clip centers on one partier who’d rather not strip down, and that’s a point of anxiety until the very end, when he finds himself in a bedroom with a like-minded female. Their motto: “Just be yourself.” Maybe they can catch a ride home with the band.
Katy Perry, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” (2011)
The eight-minute extended version of this 2011 ode to debauchery ranks among the best young adult films of the decade. Seriously. Just look at the cameos: Debbie Gibson and Corey Feldman as Katy Perry’s parents, Kenny G as her sax-freak uncle, and Rebecca “Friday” Black as the friend who turns her from orthodonture-damaged ugly duckling to super-hot swan. Even the dudes from Hanson show up and jam on the lawn. John Hughes would be proud.
Beastie Boys, “Fight for Your Right (to Party)” (1986)
Lots of pies meet lots of faces in this 1986 Beastie Boys classic. If the song was meant to parody the day’s hair metal hits, the video makes being a bonehead American look pretty fun. Once the boisterous Beasties show up, an initially boring party turns into a full-on rager, and even the nerdy host gets pulled into the bathroom by a trio of hotties. In a country overrun with hypocritical authority figures, true patriots Mike D., Ad-Rock and MCA give us something to believe in.
Diddy, “Bad Boy for Life” (2001)
When P. Diddy, as he was calling himself in 2001, pulls up to his new home in Perfectown, USA, the neighbors are terrified. After all, the rap mogul has brought booze, big-ass speakers, scantily clad women, and a loud-ass garage band featuring Dave Navarro and Travis Barker. As it turns out, these are ingredients for some pretty awesome times, as local squares like Pat O’Brien and Ben Stiller come to learn. In the end, Diddy’s party game is strong enough to prevent white flight.
B-52’s, “Love Shack” (1989)
Even if the place isn’t structurally sound (”Tin roof, rusted!” sings Kate Pierson in the memorable breakdown) the titular cabin in this 1989 B-52’s smash is a great place to throw a shindig. It’s “set way back in the middle of a field,” so you can create a zany scene like the one in the video without worrying about interlopers. The clip features lots of shimmying young folks, one grooving old timer, and even a pre-fame Ru Paul. It’s like John Waters threw a party at Pee-wee’s playhouse, and everyone showed up.
LMFAO, “Sorry for Party Rocking” (2011)
The dudes from LMFAO don’t really seem sorry about their party rocking. Whether neighbors complain or cops come to the door, the LA dance-pop duo keeps on raging, just like the dozens of hyped-up kids in neon animal prints going H.A.M. in their house. As terrible as it would be to live next to these guys, the relentless energy and unrepentant hedonism of their merrymaking is something to behold. Maybe you stop by for a drink or two before begging the power company to cut the power.
Charli XCX, “Take My Hand” (2013)
“Why you gotta go to sleep?” asks a blissfully buzzed, barely upright Charli XCX in this 2013 vid. Fortunately, the British pop star stays on her feet and winds her way through a smoky, sweaty soiree where folks are dancing and hooking up and taking baseball bats to TV sets. The next morning is going to suck, but for these four minutes, Charli is still at that stage where she couldn’t care less.
Tegan and Sara, “Closer” (2013)
As sisters Tegan and Sara Quinn provide some excellent karaoke entertainment, all of their friends dance, paint each other with lipstick, play Spin the Bottle, and revel in their collective youth and beauty. It’s a safe, welcoming space where everyone is smiling and touching and nobody is stuck in the corner. Maybe that’s why the cops never show up.
Sam Hunt’s “House Party” (2015)
Lyrically, this 2015 country smash is all about a party for two: Sam Hunt and his homebody girlfriend. In the video, Hunt takes it to the next level and stages an epic soiree complete with DJs, red Solo cups, and a bunch of guys who like their country music spiked with pop, rock, and even hip-hop. The abundant wood paneling makes it look extra authentic.
Smallpools’ “Dreaming” (2013)
There’s no escaping the fun for Smallpools singer Sean Scanlon in this imaginative 2013 clip, which plays out something like Groundhog Day meets Can’t Hardly Wait. He’s living a dream (or nightmare) where every door leads him back to the same rocking bash and the same group of pretty young folks who are happy to see him. Alas, the fantasy ends right before he’s about to get some smooching in the pool.